My child screams, at first it was because he was happy, now it is to annoy my husband and me. He figured out how easily it pushes our buttons. What can we do?

—Soon to be hearing impaired

Dear Soon,

What a clever son you have! He has certainly figured out how to get and keep your attention. This is one of those “decide what you will do, tell him, and do it every time” deals. First schedule a screaming or yelling time everyday before dinner for the whole family to take turns screaming. Let him decide how many turns you each get, AND DO IT OUTSIDE (which is where we use those loud voices). Then either remove his dinner when he starts in, “Oh, I hear that you are done eating.”, or remove yourselves to eat elsewhere, hopefully in peace. Use earplugs as needed. Whichever way you go be sure to tell him how things are going to look from here on out at a meeting BEFORE you implement it. Then stick to your guns. If you go with removing his dinner, wait to give him more food until the next scheduled meal/snack, whether it be a bedtime snack or breakfast. Don’t worry he is not going to starve if he misses a few meals.